LOS ANGELES – A statement was issued by the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival in honor of renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who passed away at 96 Last week. The full statement follows:
“If you were alive in the 60s and 70s in Greece, it would have been impossible not to know – and be impassioned by – the forbidden songs of Mikis Theodorakis. Then, the younger generations knew him as the giant composer who was always involved in politics and was a proponent of world peace and social justice. In short, Theodorakis is integral to the modern Greek identity. His loss on September 3rd, in his Athens home gazing at the Parthenon, took the whole population by surprise. Even though he was already 96 and his health was failing, no one expected the degree of pain that his sudden absence would cause. It was, it is, the kind of pain that an orphaned child feels.
“The television, radio and internet waves filled with sounds from his life, his voice and music. Athens became – albeit temporarily – a live memory, pulsating with history, with the unforeseen emergence of our collective ideals and values. And with that awakening came the bitterness of loss. Yet, what is gained from a remembrance as profound as this one is the realization that nothing else matters – no wealth or misery, no personal success or failure, no accolades or condemnation – nothing matters but the safekeeping of the immaterial world we call identity. An identity that is not defined by either borders or politics, but one that is defined by a life-affirming journey through thousands of years.”
Theodorakis was honored by LAGFF with an Orpheus Award in 2011 for his lifetime achievement.